The best PTSD books 📚

Browse the best books on PTSD as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

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Book cover of The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

By Bessel Van Der Kolk

Why this book?

The Body Keeps the Score is well worth reading. I like how the book presented many cases to show how the brain processes information in traumas, or how it sometimes fails to process traumatic experiences. The author details in an easy-to-understand explanation how this failure can lead to PTSD. The book isn’t only about soldiers suffering from PTSD, but goes deeper into many real cases to show different reasons someone may have PTSD. I used the book for my research and learned about PTSD resulting from assault, adverse childhood traumas, and adult ordeals.
From the list:

The best books that have a connection with trauma

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Book cover of Flags of Our Fathers

Flags of Our Fathers

By James Bradley, Ron Powers

Why this book?

In Flags of Our Fathers, James Bradley recounts a story not so unlike my own and many other sons born of this generation of leathernecks. James is the son of John Bradley, who served on Iwo Jima as a corpsman and was awarded the Navy Cross for his service. He also was one of the boys who raised the flag on Mount Suribachi.

Flags is the result of James Bradley’s research and interviews with survivors of the battle for Iwo Jima, after his father’s passing. At times Flags reads like an action thriller, its battle sequences authentic not only…

From the list:

The best books about PTSD and overcoming oppression of the human spirit

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Book cover of Still Beating

Still Beating

By Jennifer Hartmann

Why this book?

This romance caught me off guard. It was a dark romance about a kidnapped man and a woman. The heroine and her sister's fiancé who she disliked. I have to say this book isn’t for everyone as the sensitive subject matter is written about, such as rape and also a suicide attempt. However, because of Hartmann’s amazing way with words, I can’t stop thinking about this book and the characters. Hartmann’s exquisite writing style took me into the basement where the couple was kept. I felt fear and sadness for them. I felt hope. I felt so many things that…

From the list:

The best romance novels that stay with you long after you finish them

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Book cover of Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence--From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror

Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence--From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror

By Judith Lewis Herman

Why this book?

When I was trying to understand my own childhood trauma, Dr. Judith Herman's trauma and recovery made the most sense to me. The study of trauma, she wrote, has a curious history. Not only individuals, but entire societies have alternated between periods of remembering and periods of forgetting. Judith Herman was trained as a physician and came into contact with patients who had been sexually abused as a psychiatric resident. Her ability to integrate history, medicine, psychology, feminism, and literature into her book was indispensable to me.

Shame, secrecy, and silence, she wrote, were the deadly trio that prolonged the…

From the list:

The best books on trauma and recovery

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Book cover of Closer to Nowhere

Closer to Nowhere

By Ellen Hopkins

Why this book?

Closer to Nowhere explores family dynamics and ‘tween feelings in an honest and realistic way. Two cousins – as opposite as left and right – seem to constantly be at odds. When they take time to actually communicate with each other, they realize they have more in common than they thought. Told in alternating POVs, the reader shares Cal and Hannah’s struggles as they tell them. Told with honesty and compassion.

From the list:

The best middle grade novels in verse with emotional themes

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Book cover of A Borrowing of Bones: A Mystery

A Borrowing of Bones: A Mystery

By Paula Munier

Why this book?

This series is interesting due to the complexity of the characters. Mercy, the main character, an ex-military police officer, and her dog Elvis, also ex-military and suffering from canine PTSD are sent home from action. Both of the characters are wounded and grieving the loss of one man-Mercy’s fiance and Elvis’s handler. Along with a compelling mystery the two stumble upon, the readers also get an understanding of the incredible power dogs have to help humans heal.

We often reveal much more of ourselves to our canine companions and the reader is able to learn more about the human characters…

From the list:

The best mysteries with dogs

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